After reading a story in The Guardian entitled “Have Tools, Will Travel” Gordon Brown realised he could start a business providing overseas business travellers with modems, wires, and support. His wife conducted the market research. 18 months later, the couple founded a mail-order company in their home with £5,000 in savings, charging the rest of the stock on their credit cards. Their first big break came with a £40k contract with management consultants Booz Allen Hamilton. Ten years later, London-based TeleAdapt signs over 1000 new contracts monthly, producing sales of over £4m. Companies such as Sony, Compaq, and Toshiba, have also approached TeleAdapt to source wires and modems for their manufacturing plants in the UK. This OEM business now accounts for roughly 40% of revenues. The stress associated with hiring and managing good people keeps Brown awake at night. “I challenge any MD of a fast-growth company to say anything different,” he says.
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